Published: 31 October 2017
Young mums, dads and children celebrated the tenth anniversary of the national Family Nurse Partnership at a Halloween party during National FNP Week (October 23 to 27).
Organised by the Hounslow Family Nurse Partnership (FNP), the celebration also marked the launch of a young parents’ group at Alf King Children’s Centre in Feltham, where the party was held last week.
Children and parents took part in fun activities such as making Halloween footprints and face painting, as well as joining in a competition to name the young parents’ group.
Hounslow FNP supervisor Daisy Townson said: “It was great for us all to get together to celebrate the start of the national programme ten years ago. But we also wanted to celebrate the difference the programme has made to the 207 local families we have been able to help during the six years we have been working in the borough.”
The FNP is a voluntary home visiting programme for first-time young mums aged 19 or under. A family nurse visits regularly from the early stages of pregnancy (ideally before the 16th week) until the child is two.
The programme aims to help young mums have a healthy pregnancy, improve their child’s health and development, plan their own futures and achieve their aspirations.
Last year, 75% of young mothers on the Hounslow programme breastfed their babies as soon as they were born, compared to the FNP national programme average of 59%.
In the same year, every infant seen by family nurses had all their immunisations by the age of two, compared with the 77.2% average for Hounslow.
Other areas in which the young families are doing well include reducing unplanned pregnancies and child obesity, as well as improving tooth care and the children’s readiness for school once they leave the programme.
More than half of the mothers were in education, employment or training by the time they graduated from the programme, including three clients who were offered places to study midwifery at university.
Former client Amber, mum to Belle aged 20 months [not their real names], has complimented the service: “The family nurse has given me the support, guidance and confidence that I needed to get where I am today, in a safe place that I can call home with my daughter and on the road to becoming a social worker.”
Mensa, dad to Robert aged 10 weeks [not their real names], also complimented the FNP: “Having the family nurse it helps us to look after babe more and be a better mum and dad, they have been supporting us in every way it was possible. Very thankful.”
The Hounslow Family Nurse Partnership service is commissioned by Hounslow Council’s Public Health Team and has close links with social care and Hounslow’s head of child protection and safeguarding.